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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  December 17, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EST

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expiring. and was quite active with mayor bloomberg on other issues around guns. i've been told someone submitted that. i'm not sure that was an actively discussed item. i don't believe so. we get a lot of letters in the office. most of them never get to me quite frankly. so i can't tell you that didn't happen. i can only tell you that supports a person's opportunity to hunt. and to meet the strictest definition of the second amendment, but beyond that i think this thing has gotten way out of control. and the idea that assault
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weapons are as plentiful in the united states with a capacity as large as they're available in the united states, including in connecticut, is not something i support. i think this whole issue of assault weapons and weapons that can easily be converted to a salt weapons is a question we really need to have in this country. obviously the discussion can begin about the size of the magazines, and i think that's a good discussion to have. i'd love to hear the people argue that we need 30-round magazines and that's somehow tied to the right to bear arms.
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[ inaudible question ] right, and they say that because they know they can prevent about -- -- i'm not talking about basic weapons or weapons used in hunting. best of my knowledge, if anyone uses an assault weapon -- an assault weapon in the hunting with the 30-round magazine, i'd be quite surprised by that -- and by the way, if they do, and because of public safety, that should go away, then i believe that should go away. >> public policy didn't see to be particular focus of yours during the first half of your
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term here -- well, i was wondering if you agree with that observation and if so, why now? >> i think gun safety is -- has been important to our administration and the fact is we are ranked as having the top five toughest laws on guns in the nation. but i will go back to what i said earlier. absent a federal framework -- drill down further into my own personal history. as mayor of stanford, we came to understand that a big percentage of the handguns work their way up from i-95 in states in which there are actually easier gun laws and guns in some cases sold under exceptions to the rule for gun shows.
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those guns work their way up i-95 and get to places like new york city or cities in our state and i've always said those exceptions in the absence of a tougher federal legislation is not good for connecticut, not good for our cities and, again, i also have firmly believed that these high-capacity magazines are extremely dangerous. having said that, being in the top five, i think there have been people who previously thought they've done enough in connecticut. i'm not saying i'm one of those. i doubt there is one of those left.
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>> -- do you think it meets this state law, our state laws -- >> it's been pointed out, and i've taken the time to point it out, that we could be compliant with the previous assault weapons ban limitation by going from a 30 magazine to a 10 magazine. i think that's a commonsense piece of legislation that could be taken up. >> -- enough information to say mental illness played a part in this -- this situation, and how would you go about improving what seems to be a very fractured mental health system? >> the -- with respect -- i don't have a diagnosis. it's possible that the criminal
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investigation may have turned that up. i don't have personal knowledge about it. my comments about it are in large part based on the nature of the crime, how it was carried out, the fact that he killed his mother first, the fact that he drove himself to the school, he brought numerous weapons wit him, and a reported history of alienation and behaviors that would be consistent with that, but do i have a diagnosis, the answer's no. >> how do you then go about addressing it on a statewide policy basis? >> you know, i think that mental illness has long been delegated to a different discussion than physical health, for instance. it is a distinction that i think in many ways has not served our country well.
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i think that first and foremost we need to begin in earnest the process of removing that discussion. now, over the last 20 years, there has been some gradual change. for instance, with respect to coverage under insurance plans and access to some mental health services. but we haven't gone far enough there as well. i think we all suffer with the presumption -- not all but i think many in the country suffer with the presumption that a mental illness cannot be recovered from. of course, that isn't the case. there are, just as there are untreatable or uncurable physical diseases, there are cases where people do not recover from mental illness, but there are far more physical maladies that people recover from and there are far more psychological or mental illness maladies that people recover
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from. there really is no basis to speak about and treat these things differently and we need to move well beyond that. >> -- by closing so many mental health facilities in the state that could contribute to some -- >> no, i don't thing that's the issue. i don't thing that's the issue at all, to tell you the truth. in fact, i want to say just the opposite. i'm a big believer that a group home or alternative placement is a far better way to assure positive outcomes in treating mental illness, drug addiction, and other maladies than trying to confine people to large institutions where they were generally -- actually, not generally, where they were historically underserved in our
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country. >> -- budget deficit deal apparently in the works -- >> i think there were discussions last week and discussions continued on friday. there are i think tentative understandings with the caucus leaders, the four caucus leaders, but that's tentative. they've not shared it with their members to the best of my knowledge. it's capable of being adjusted further. but i think we're on a road to having an agreement. whether, you know, where exactly that is, i've got to tell you, i've been busy with a couple other things. so ben barnes continues to have meetings with leaders. he'll continue to do that. i'd like to do it on a bipartisan basis. i think we should do it on a bipartisan basis. [ inaudible ] i'll get you next. okay. go ahead. [ inaudible ] >> -- assault weapons ban could
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be renewed -- >> no, let me just be very clear. that's been my position since well before the ban -- >> yes, yes, i know that. >> okay. >> what about some sort of federal rules or regulations regarding violent video games which it's been reported this young man was either addicted to or was very enthusiastic about. where you actually do shoot people in this simulated manner. >> let me assure you, i've never played one. i think parents have to think about those games. and whether anyone should be exposed to them or at what age they should be exposed to them. until i know more about -- i've read some of the stuff you're commenting about, about this assailant. we'll know more, but do i think encouraging violence to be
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played out in such a realistic fashion is good for people, the answer is no, i don't -- >> -- on the investigation -- >> i get briefed on it but i'm not -- i certainly don't want to say things that would in any way inpete our operating theories absent someone deciding that operating theory is in fact now a conclusion. so i'm aware of theories. i'm aware of physical evidence and how it's being interpreted. but i choose to await final interpretation of that by the folks who have done this on a more regular basis than i have. yeah, right here. >> on friday, you found yourself in an unimaginable position of informing these people about the death of their family members. is that something you -- victim of circumstance, did you tell the state police, i'll do that?
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can you give us some detail on that -- >> yeah, i was -- it was evident to me that there was a reluctance to tell parents and loved ones that the person they were waiting for was not going to return. and that had gone on for a period of time. well after there was any expectancy that families would be reunited. so i made a decision that rather than relying on traditional
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investigative policies, that you actually have a child or an adult identified as the particular victim, before you inform someone, or at least give them the information by which they could formulate for themselves that their loved one was not going to return, i made the decision that to have that go on any longer was wrong. i did -- [ inaudible ] i'm going to attend whatever number i can attend. today we had a conflict. for instance, two funerals at the same time. although nancy was able to get down to noah's wake beforehand, she then went up to jack's
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funeral, and i stayed at the funeral in fairfield. so i don't think i'm going to get to all of them. but i would be -- i think one of us -- one of us will do our utmost to attend any funeral that we're welcome at. okay. thank you very much. >> thank you, governor. >> visibly moved, the governor of this state of connecticut, dan malloy, briefing reporters on what is going on. he, like the president of the united states on friday, choked back tears. this is a very sad day, of raw emotion here in newtown, connecticut, as families begin burying the children killed in the massacre at the sandy hook elementary school right down the road from where we are right now. we're watching all of this unfold, and the pain is clearly, clearly evident. while every day here in new town
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is sad, today, it's especially, it's especially sad. this afternoon, the first funerals were held for victims of the elementary school massacre. connecticut's governor, you just saw him here, he attended one of the services today, and he summed it up this way, and i'm quoting him, you see little coffins and your heart starts to ache. as this town and the nation tries to come to grips with this huge, huge tragedy, the investigation is focusing in on the question why. some of the answers may come from a computer found in the home where the gunman, adam lanza, lived with his mother. cnn's national correspondent deborah feyerick is keeping track of the latest developments. she's joining us now live with more. what are you learning, deb? >> wolf, we can tell you law enforcement sources are telling us the computer is being analyzed. it was found smashed inside the home, and investigators right now gathered up the piece, putting it together, trying to check all the forensics on it, who he may have been in contact with, e-mails, websites.
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anything that may give them some insight into what he was thinking in the days and the moments leading up to this crime. we want to tell you that around 3:00, two unmarked police cars traveled up the long driveway and you can see, this is as close as we've gotten to the home since this all happened. three people did enter that home. we believe they're investigators. i can also tell you, wolf, something equally sad. on our way here, we noticed there were marked squad cars in the driveways of some of the nearby homes. we've been told by connecticut police that any home directly affected by this tragedy would have those cars in their driveways. so we're trying to confirm whether, in fact, the homes nearby the lanzas may have been affected. cnn confirmed nancy lanza, the mom, who was shot and killed by her own son, shot in the head, by her own gun, that, in fact, she had confided to friends that
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this was their last winter here, that they were planning on moving, that she thought about possibly going to washington state, possibly enrolling her son in a college there. we've been able to trace a little bit of his academic history, wolf. we can tell you, right now, there is no known connection to the sandy hook elementary school. he first appears in public records as a freshman in high school back in 2007, and at that time, we spoke to a security director, who said that adam lanza immediately was identified as a child that needed to be watched. not because he was a threat to other people, that he was so gawky and so awkward that security officials felt that others may be a threat to him. so not only did they keep an eye on him, but also he was, at that time, assigned a school psychologist. he left that school in about 2008. he enrolled in classes at a nearby university, just about 15
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minutes from here. he was taking computer science, macro economic, american history. this is a 16-year-old kid, mind you, he was taking those classes. in 2009, he just fell off the grid, never went back to the school. he took up shooting as a hobby. the atf telling us he was spotted at a local gun range. even his mom saying to a friend that it was a hobby, that he enjoyed and he wanted to pursue. wolf. >> deborah feyerick, thanks very much. people across the nation have become fascinated by the stories of the 20 children, the 6 women, all educators, who died at the school, and they're reaching out to newtown, sending gifts for the makeshift memorials that are springing up all over this town. cnn's brook baldwin is here. she caught up with a first responder delivering christmas wreaths from oregon. as brook discovered, has quite a story to tell us. brook, the story is powerful. it's a symptom, a symbol of what has going on here. you and i have walked around
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this town. people just want to show some emotion. >> it's pretty incredible. it's been difficult to talk to some of the first responders. you can see it in their eyes what they saw but they don't exactly want to share it and we're respecting it. i happened upon the town square where i see box after box and i said, what are you delivering, hanging up, and it was a wreath, 26 wreaths from a perfect stranger, a wreath from across the country in portland, oregon. here's what he shared with me. how many wreaths are there? >> 26. >> did they get sent to the firehouse? >> sent to the firehouse through u.p.s. >> did you know they were coming? >> no, no, they were -- the truck pulled up and she says, i have a delivery. we unloaded them all and we figured we'd come up with a place to put them, try to keep them all together. got shipped all the way from oregon. >> how long have you been here? >> since friday. >> where are you based out of? >> the sandy hook firehouse.
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>> how long have you been at the firehouse? >> we're going home at night to sleep but -- >> years? >> since high school. i'm 38. >> did you ever in 1 million years think you'd be experiencing this? >> nobody in this toub would thing that. >> where were you when you heard? >> working. working across town. we saw the helicopters. >> what did you think it was? >> we thought it was one or two. the principal at first and -- we came down the road, it was just all surreal. seeing all the cars, all this. it's tough. >> where did you go once you saw the cars, straight to the firehouse?
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>> straight to the firehouse. from there, we just -- >> help us around the world understand what you, as a first responder, are going through. >> sadness, anger, guilt in some aspects. >> why guilt? what could you have done? >> exactly. we were having counseling. as a group. >> just finally what do you make of the wreaths, just people you don't know sending you all these wreaths to put up in your town, what would you say to the people of portland, oregon? >> thank you. it makes us feel warm to know -- this is amazing that people that far away care about us.
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>> it was the same firehouse in which a lot of those parents were waiting friday morning to find out the fates of their sons and daughters. to get out and hang these 26 wreaths in the middle of the town square and just those two simple words, "thank you," you can just tell it meant the world to these guys. >> i just myself walked up to that firehouse and i saw those little trees, saw the toys, the flowers, everything -- >> the stuffed animals -- >> i walked in, i spent some time, a little time with some of the first responders there who were -- we're going to show it to our viewers later. they all said the same thing they said to you. they never expected that they would be -- and that's sort of the command center. it's a crime scene because that firehouse is right down the street from the elementary school. and that's where they're review everything, they're checking everything, and i was going to meet with one of the lead commanders over there, but they were busy returning personal effects of some of those who were killed to their parents and just -- >> it's a tough scene at the firehouse. >> very tough.
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>> thanks, wolf. >> we never expected to be covering something like this either. >> i never want to cover something like this again. >> neither do i. students at the sandy hook elementary school won't be returning to their school. stand by. we have the latest on the plans for all the survivors, they're changing schools. stay with us. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! pretty sweet, huh? cute. but don't you have any apps on your phone that can make your life easier? who do you think i am, quicken loans? at quicken loans, we'll provide you with myql mobile.
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among the victims, james mattioli. he wanted to wear shorts, he loved to swim and he was always hungry for his dad's omelets and his mom's french toast. meetings are under way to prepare for the reopening of schools here in newtown. officials say the students of sandy hook elementary school are dismissed until further notice. you had a chance, kate, to meet with some folks here who are planning to deal with this issue. it's a sensitive issue. where are these kids going to go to school? >> it's a massive undertaking. obviously after the horror of friday, no one is ready to send children, students, back into sandy hook elementary but at the same time so many folks are looking for a sense of normalcy. that's what i'm hearing over and other again. getting the children back on a path to healing. that's where the city monroe stepped in. truck loads filled with everything from desks to
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bulletin boards leaving sandy hook elementary. heading here to the neighboring town of monroe. >> when the children come in, whenever the school is started, they walk into a classroom that is as close as possible to their classroom they left. >> reporter: this is the town's chief executive. he said as soon as he heard about the horror at sandy hook, he offered up chalk hill middle school. it's empty because it closed recently. he met with some of the students and teacher it is at sunday's vigi vigil. >> most of them were very thankful they had a chance to go back to work. the children and the teachers were -- it was emotional. >> reporter: all day, contractors donated their time to transform this former middle school into an elementary school. >> just to give you a sense. the toilets all have to be replaced. to a smaller size. you know, things have to be made
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accessible. towel dispensers, things like that, lowered. >> reporter: jim is monroe's superintendent. >> why is it so important to get the students of sandy hook into a building like chalk hill and back in their classroom? >> well, that's exactly the sense of normalcy that they need to begin the healing process. and to feel safe and protected. and to get back into a routine. >> reporter: one change every parent will notice at schools across the area after sandy hook, police patrol. is that a protective measure? is that the new normal? or is that more a way to help families and students alleviate some anxiety as they return to class? >> all of the above. all of the above. unfortunately, it may be the new normal. it may be the way we have to take course, take action in the future. >> reporter: now, there's no official start date for the students to begin back -- well, tore begin in their new school
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at chalk hill middle school, in that building, but officials in that town say the building at least could be ready as early as tomorrow, which is an amazing thing to think about. they're really completely transforming this building in just a matter of days. but when they want to bring the students back into school, that's completely up to the newtown school officials. there's no word yet if they want to start back. >> there were almost 600 kids in that kindergarten through fourth grade elementary school here that's obviously now a crime scene. >> that's now a crime scene but it's amazing how they're doing everything they can. you can see in those truck loads of things. they're trying to replicate almost down to the desk and the chair and the picture on the wall, each room, as much as they can, in order to try to give them a sense of normalcy, of safety, of something that they're familiar with, to try to get them on the path to healing. but this friday is supposed to be the last day before holiday break for many, for i think every school in the area, so it's up to -- if they want to get them back for a couple days
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or after the holiday. >> they got to get into a routine too. i guess it's good they're going to have the christmas break coming up so they won't -- that will be normal for them to just spend some time with their families. >> with their family. which we know is important. >> kate will be with us throughout our coverage here. can america prevent tragedies like newtown from happening again? what needs to change? we'll take a closer look at what parents and communities can do.
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right here in new town, all these makeshift memorials are springing up. cnn's don lemon is right in the middle of all of this. don, walk us through, explain to our viewers what you're seeing and what's going on, because this is such a powerful and emotional part of this story. >> powerful is right, heartwarming, right. wolf, flowers here, teddy bears,
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candles, seems to be the theme here. as you and i were talking yesterday, when i arrived here on saturday, it was just candles here. just a small number of candles. and now this has grown. this appears to have become the heart of this newtown community, people gathering here all day and all night for 24 hours, 24 hours a day they've been doing this. want to walk over here and show you some of the things they're putting up. you see this oragami here, some people call them japanese birds they put up for blessings for everyone involved. i want to talk with emily and paulina and lauren. you guys have been out here. i saw you hugging and crying. you've been here for a while. >> we've been here for about i don't know maybe half an hour now. >> why did you want to come out? >> lived in newtown my whole life. i used to go to sandy hook till i was 7. you could walk anywhere, feel okay. such a great community. we're just -- i'm just proud of
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this town, i really am. all the support everyone's giving us, i want everyone to know how important it is, we really appreciate it. >> you've been very emotional as well. >> same thing, i've lived here my entire life. my karate school's right around the corner. it's my second home. i look on tv like all this stuff and i -- it's not my home anymore, like, it's not the same. >> wolf, people are saying they don't want to -- thank you, ladies, thank you. we're thinking about you. they don't want this to be what their town is remembered for. but, again, if you look at this, it's even going further down the street. at first, it was just in the middle of the square where they have the christmas tree and now it is -- there are teddy bears upon teddy bears, flowers upon flowers, and layers upon layers of things that people are dropping off and notes saying "pray for the people of newtown, don't give up hope," and you can see it here. this is where peep come out and they pour their love and their words. we've even seen people praying
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openly out here and embracing and people dropping off flowers all day. not just single flowers, wolf. there are people who are -- expensive arrangements they've brought here, poinsettias, balloons. really just coming out to share that they're thinking and what they're feeling. as we have been seeing the who time, to a person, they say, i don't want to feel helpless. i want to come out and i want to support my community. >> one of the saddest things is to see the notes that little children leave for the 20 young kids, 6-year-olds and 7-year-olds who were killed friday morning here at the elementary school. you really can't go much anywhere in this town right now without seeing these little memorials springing up. people are driving from all over the state, from all over the country, with little gifts, little mementos, because they want to be part of this, they want to remember what happened.
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hopefully, we waon't see this again. don, we'll come back ton you soon. president obama calls for a united effort to stop the violence. we'll talk with cnn's dr. drew pinsky about what it might take. stay with us. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china, impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age.
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chase kowalski completed his first little kid's mini triathlon. he was a cub scout who played baseball, enjoyed the kids workshop at the home depot as well, 7 years old. injo injoining us now, dr. drew pinske. thanks so much. how important is it first of all for these other kids, nearly 600 of them, to get back into a regular school routine? >> it's very important, wolf, that these parents tell their kids that they're going to be safe and they need to get back to their lives. important to give sorrow and trauma words, allow the kids to talk about these things and make sense of them. it's very important for all of us, the head of every household, the head of either community, to begin talking about healing, returning to a normal life, and
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an understanding that although we will not forget this, we're going to be okay, we are resilient and we're not going to let this happen to our kids again. >> i know you heard the president last night. you've heard a lot of other politicians speaking out right now. you've got some strong views. what do we need to do now as a country to try to prevent these kind tragedies? >> we're looking for leadership. one thing we do in the psychiatric hospital when we're dealing with very disturbed people is we form a team that is a healthy family. we model a healthy family. and we have a unified front so there's no splitting of that front. and i call upon our leaders at community, at state, and at federal level, to model a healthy family. divisiveness and splitting is what causes the most vulnerable amongst us to feel like acting out. it creates a vulnerability to these kinds of things. two other things i would say. one is physicians must be able
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to do their job. if they have an instink somebody's in trouble, they must be able to act on that instinct despite the concern for somebody's right, the instinct is to protect the individual and the community for their own good. doctors must be able to do their job. number two, because we have such wou woeful mental health services, law enforcement has become the mental health services of last resort. we must call upon them. i'm not asking we flood the law enforcement system. but i cannot tell you, wolf, how often i'm telling parents and family members to just call law enforcement because it's all we got and you have to be willing to do that or something horrible like this will happen again. >> because we really do keep mental health issues at a different level than physical ailments out there -- >> absolutely. >> it's part of the problem here, isn't it? we've got to do a lot more -- >> absolutely. >> -- to educate people about mental health. >> absolutely. we have to be able to identify the problems and then doctors -- i was talking to dr. oz this
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morning, saying, look, you, in the middle of an operation, if something goes wrong, could improvise and use your judgment. in mental health, we can't do that. all kinds of things get in the way of physicians doing their job. by the same token, because we're so underserved in mental health, we got nothing much else at our disposal but law enforcement. of course family and friends and communities don't like to do that, but they're there to help. physicians are there to help. law enforcement is there to help. but beyond that, i really strongly call upon our leaders to, a, let our children know today that they're going to be fine, and, b, we're going to be a healthy family, that we are committed to and we're not going to see all these divisiveness and envy and hatred which is really -- alongside of me we're looking at love and grace which is the response to the envy and hatred that resulted in the evil that has happened in that poor town. >> where do you come down, dr. drew, on the issue of violent video games, violent
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films and little boys? >> well, i must tell you, wolf, i've got very strong feelings about this. twofold. one is we know that it's not a good thing. there's no doubt about it not being good for kids. particularly vulnerable kids. remember, here, we have a young man who went out and was shooting guns so there -- he's gone to the next level with the -- you know, from a toy gun or a video game to shooting guns. but of graver concern, this has not been studied yet, is that people today feel entitled to act out on real people in social media. the kind of venom and hatred that is expressed towards actual people who receive it and read it and the entitlement young people have to act that out in social media, i think that is where the disassociation comes and the disconnect that allows people to lose empathy that can result in something horrible like this. >> why is it always -- it seems to be almost always young men or boys who are involved in these
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kinds of mass murders as opposed to girls or young women. >> yeah. well, the reason is that's men, number one, i mean, that is simply the fact, men are more likely to act out violently. 18 to 25 is the window when major mental illness emerges. things like schizophrenia, bipolar mania, more serious manifestations of personality disorders and aggression. that's the window when this comes on. those kids who have intervention during that window are less likely to have the chronic long-term problems. but if you don't intervene then, you're likely to have someone who progresses and worsens and who has a lifetime of problems. >> lots of study. we need action soon. otherwise these -- >> none of us -- we all have got to be a part of the solution today, today, today, we've got to start today, now, that's it. >> dr. drew, thanks very much.
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this important note to our viewers, you can see "dr. drew on call" weeknights at 9:00 p.m. eastern on our sister network hln. remembering sandy hook elementary school as a place of love and now loss. a longtime member of that community shares her memories. welcome to chevy's year-end event. so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd. but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help
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this afternoon, the first of so many funerals to come for the newtown victims. 6-year-old noah pozner and jack pinto were laid to rest today. joining us now is the former chair of the board of education. this must be so difficult for you. you knew some of these people who were killed. so what was it like? >> going through this experience you mean? oh, it's been horrific. from the moment we all heard the news, it was devastating to know that someone had come into the school with a gun, that alone was horrible enough because it's a place of peace and joy. but now as we go forward and we've learned the names and now we're going through the grueling process of the funerals, it's
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very, very, very hard. everyone uses the word "hollow." that's where we're at now. >> i certainly want to respect the privacy of the parents and families of the two little boys who were buried today. you can't imagine -- you were there, i don't know if you want it to even tell us what was going on. >> i don't. i don't want to say which one i went to either. >> you don't have to obviously. >> but i will say that the grief was overwhelming in the parking lot afterwards from those of us who haven't seen each other yet during this. so it's everything you can imagine plus some. it's worse. >> how do we move forward? how does this community move forward? because that's one of your responsibilities. >> yes. i feel like i said before that we really need to lead with love. and that's what i'm seeing our community do. we're putting our arms around people. but there's also the responsibility that as we start this discussion about what are we going to do next and i'm seeing some of this online where people are already started to yell at each other. and i think it's important if
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we're going to have these broader discussions on all the issues, not just gun control, mental health, all the other issues, school safety, then we can't yell at each other. that's all we've been doing in this country, it's so divisive. >> how do we get over that? people are so passionate on an issue like gun control. >> first, we've got to learn how to have discourse and put the passion away, and i would suggest that one of the ways we do that, as we have these discussions, i want you to mang you're talking to one of these 6-year-olds. if that 6-year-old was in the room with you, would you speak like that? imagine if you're a political person, if that -- those teachers had the courage to do what they did, and vicky soto had the courage, and dawn hochsprung, then let's have our politicians have the courage to talk civilly to each other and figure these issues out. we cannot have any more
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6-year-olds and 7-year-olds die in their classrooms. >> do we need greater security at elementary, middle, high schools here in connecticut, here in the united states? >> i think that's a huge part of the discussion. and i don't know if it's security or perhaps it's our building materials, the glass was easily, you know, shot through. who would have ever thought that? i don't know -- >> because he forced his way into that school. >> he did, from what i understand, he shot the windows out. you know, we had prepared for everything except that. i'm sure most schools in the country haven't considered that option. like in oklahoma, the bombing, once that happened, federal buildings had big things in front of them. i don't want schools to be a fortress, i really don't, but bulletproof glass, and then you get into money, so these are discussions. there's no one answer. it's a multilayered answer. i think a lot of it in our country today is civil discourse. so i would beg everyone, please, let's try to have a civil
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discurioudi discour discourse. when you feel because you're anonymous on the keyboard you want to take the guy out you don't agree with, try to have these angels' faces in their mind because you're not helping them and you're not helping all the children in the united states. it's what i heard at the vigil and from what i heard from president obama and what i heard at the services today. everyone wants this. now we have to execute on it. >> tell us about this ribbon. >> this ribbon comes from our local grocery store. they're making them in the floral department and handing them out to anyone who wants it. the colors represent sandy hook school. these were our school colors -- are our school colors. >> i've seen other little ribbons that are similar that have a little angel. >> i know, i want one of those. >> the community, you know, you walk around, you just see these little memorials that are springing up and you see these notes from other little kids, writing messages, writing notes. some the -- two the boys were buried today. who could have thought that we would be living through something like this?
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>> there's a memorial on the entrance coming into town at the skin there. there's memorials at another school that has nothing to do with this. it's incredible, the outpouring, it really is. i'm originally from the midwest and the people in my hometown of kansas city, the youtpouring is incredible, really is incredible. and i can't tell you how touching that is to know that people that i've known my whole life that are not just in kansas city anymore. i have a friend in germany and all over the world, and they're all responding to this. that's why i think it's important that we get this message out and let's all join hands and let's lead with love in everything we do. not just getting through this tragedy. but rebuilding what we want this country to do for our children. >> how are these parents, though, going to -- i can only imagine, you know, you were there at the funeral, how could these parents move forward now, knowing what has just happened
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friday morning? >> that's a long journey. i have a little bit of experience personally with that. not like this but a little bit. and it's a hollowness. it's weak knees. it's all the horrible things everyone imagines. all you can do is take it a day at a time and depend on everybody you love and i would tell our community that two weeks is about the time that the family goes away, and that's the important time for friends to rush in. because then all the family members are out of town. but it's going to take a lot of love and support. it really is. >> it's a mourning process. >> it's awful. >> i can only, you know, i have no idea but it's -- eye just seen a little bit of it and it's normally parents bury -- children bury their parents. parents shouldn't be burying their kids, 6-year-old and 7-year-old little kids -- >> no, that's the horror of this, the real horror. and the fact that teachers were protecting people. that dawn tried to stop him.
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and, you know, i heard on another interview -- >> she was the principal of the school. >> i'm sorry, the principal, yes. i heard someone said if she had had a gun locked in her office, she could have taken him on. excuse me, she was in another meeting, not her office. to get to her office, she would have had to have gone through the gunman. i think we need to look at what these teachers did and not just the ones who passed away but that whole school, i know all those teachers and what they did to protect their children and to keep them safe was incredible. >> lillian, thanks for what you did, thanks for injoining us, thanks for sharing your thoughts. >> lead with love, please. >> our viewers here in the united states and around the world, the whole world is watch what's going on. maybe we'll learn some lessons. maybe down the road we can prevent these tragedies from happening. lillian, thanks very much. while emotions here in newtown are too raw to begin
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debating ways to stop gun violence, the talk certainly already starting back in washington. we'll have the latest from the white house after this. >> i am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts. i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief. that our world, too, has been torn apart. that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. we've pulled our children tight. and you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide it.
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whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. newtown, you are not alone. with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. you'll also care about our new offer. you get access to nurses who can help with your questions. and your loved one can get exelon patch free for 30 days. if the doctor feels it's right for them. it cannot change how the disease progresses.
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the next phase of a wrenching painstaking process begins. >> you see little coffins and your heart has to ache. so you tell them you grieve for their loss, you give them a hug and you tell them their community, their state and their nation, dare i say the whole
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world, stands with them, and you hope that that makes some difference. >> the governor of connecticut, dan malloy, talking about attending the first of many funerals for the children in the days ahead. he himself choking back tears, recounting the process of having to tell the parents of those who died that their children weren't coming back to them. the governor is calling for a moment of silence this friday at 9:30 a.m., exactly one week to the day this horror began to unfold. churches across the state are being asked to chime bells 26 times in honor of those who are killed. we want to welcome our viewers from the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in newtown, connecticut. we begin this hour with new details. they are beginning to emerge about the first person to be killed in this horrifying
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tragedy, the mother of the gunman, nancy lanza. she was her son's first victim. even though friends say she went to great lengths trying to help him with his difficulties. the very same guns nancy lanza kept for target shooting and for safety were the ones used to murder her. one relative says she kept the weapons for self-defense. >> we talked about prepping and, you know, are you ready for what can happen down the line when the economy collapses. >> reporter: friends say she taught her sons how to use the weapons but says her interest in guns was just a safe hobby. >> i'm seen a lot of things in the media about her being this survivalist waco and that was not her at all. >> reporter: ironically, young adam was so opposed to killing he would not even eat any meat. he was a vegan, says one family friend. >> she told me repeatedly how obsessed adam was about holding the gun the correct way, so that it would be safe, the gun was
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up, and never pointing it at anybody. that safety was paramount always. >> reporter: newly obtained divorce court records show she was given final authority to make decisions on how their son would be raised. for a while, she taught him at home, says an in law. >> she eventually wound up homeschooling him. she battled with the school district. in what capacity, i'm not 100% certain. if it was behavior, it was learning disabilities, i really don't know, but he was a very, very bright boy, he was smart. >> reporter: according to a friend, to accommodate his painful shyness, she would tell adam if anyone was coming to the house so he could stay in his room if he wanted to. she tried hard to get her son help, friends say. she would cancel weekend planses if he was having a tough time. and she was thinking of selling the house if her son found a place he wanted to study, maybe in washington state. >> she was ready to sell her house and move wherever adam wanted to go for college. >> reporter: back when adam was at school, he would shut down
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and withdraw, staring at the ground and not talking to anyone, his mother would come down to the school and coax him out according to the adviser for the tech club the boy was in. >> she was a good mother. who pretty much doted over her boys. >> reporter: divorce records show she and her sons were well provided for. her alimony this year was scheduled to be $289,000. friends say she did not need to work, although she gave to charities and was personally generous herself. >> she was just -- just -- she lived a wonderful life. >> our national correspondent deborah feyerick is standing by outside the gunman's house with more on the investigation. what else are you learning, deb? >> well, wolf, we can tell you that several unmarked police cars went into the home and have been going into the home since about 3:00 this afternoon. the home just behind me, the only lights that we can see that
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are on are on the ground floor to the right. all the other rooms, the shades are drawn. very difficult to see what is going on inside that home. at least two homes in this area as we were driving here have unmarked police cars stationed out front. we are told that unmarked police cars are being stationed at all the homes of those who lost children or adults in the massacre. the lanza home is still considered a crime scene. and police say they have seized some significant evidence. take a listen. >> i can only tell you we seized evidence if, if, there is computer evidence. i strongly say that, if we do have a computer crimes team, and then our state forensic laboratory, that are experts in retreating any kind of electronic evidence and data. >> we're learning a couple of things about adam lanza. he was in and out of various schools. in 2007, as a freshman, the
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school security director there was concerned because he was -- he seemed so vulnerable that the director was concerned he would be picked on, so he told the security officers to make sure to keep an eye on him. a couple of years later, 2008, he enrolled in classes at a nearby college, just about 15 -- community college, about 15 minutes from his home. he was taking computer science as well as macro economics, american history and german. we spoke to one girl who was in his german class. she said she didn't know him very well but at one point she said, we're going out, why don't you join us, he told her he was only 17 and she was very surprised by that, she didn't understand just how young he was. described as a genius by all account, very quiet, very private. investigators are trying to put together pieces of the computer he smashed before he went on this rampage, wolf. >> what a story, deborah feyerick, thanks very much.
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throughout our program here, we've been telling you about the victims of the horrifying tragedy. >> we want to focus on the victims, not -- as much as we can, wolf, and to tell their stories. special details about each one of them that really help define who they were. we want to give you a look at some of them and we'll continue to do that throughout the show. allison wyatt was quiet and a little shy, but if someone did something funny, she'd be the first one to burst out laughing. and jesse lewis, had been looking forward to making gingerbread houses at school. he loved math, riding horses and playing at his mom's farm. victoria soto always wanted to be an educator. just like her aunt. the first grade teacher loved the color green and her black lab, roxie. >> she was truly selfless. she would not hesitate to save anyone else before herself and especially children. she loved them more than life
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and she would definitely put herself in front of them. any day. any day. for any reason. so it doesn't surprise anybody that knows vicky that she did this. >> first in what will sadly be dozens of young shooting victims laid to rest today. details from the funerals. two them happened today. two little boys. >> two little boys. so sad. >> we're watching what's going on as far as the funerals are concerned but we're -- want to make sure there's complete privacy as much as possible for the grieving families. also, lockdowns, cameras, is any of it enough to keep our children safe at school? we'll take a closer look at that as well. to the best vacation spot on earth. (all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen.
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they are beginning the heartbreaking task of burying the dead today. 6-year-olds noah pozner and jack pitto were both laid to rest. noah was said to be a charming little boy who loved playing withed siblings, particularly his sister. cnn's kyung lah has the difficult assignment of covering jack's funeral for us. she's joining us now with some of the details. we want to be totally respectful of the privacy of these families who are going through hell right now, kyung. >> it's very, very difficult. we did want to respect the family's wishes. the family wanted as private a service as they could have, as private a service as they could have when you consider how many reporters are here, how many cameras are interested in this.
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from the distance we were standing away from the church, we could see that this was a very difficult day for the family, the friends, of this little boy. a 6-year-old boy who was in the first grade. the people arriving not the usual people you see at a funeral. young families. a lot of young children. the children who arrived were wearing newtown wrestling shirts, long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts. one little boy was wearing a medal. the significance of that medal -- i've spoken to people in the wrestling community here in connecticut. one town that's nearby said that jack had just competed in his first wrestling match. his first official wrestling match. and had won his first medal. this little boy loved sports but his first love was football and his idol was new york giant player victor cruz. now, that message got to the football player. he decided that he wanted to put the little boy's name on his cleats and his gloves. he tweeted out a picture of it.
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he then called jack's family. here's what cruz told reporters. >> it was emotional, man, you know, i was fighting back tears a little bit to do it. it felt good to honor a family that was going through so much. just the thought of your little one or your child, your son or daughter, going through something like this, you know, it was just unbelievable to even listen to on the news. that night, i put my daughter in the bed with me. >> the family is reportedly burying their son in a victor cruz jersey. a very difficult day. just the very first of what will be many more funerals, wolf. >> how sad is this, unbelievably sad. thanks, kyung lah, for that. as these first of what will be many funeral services get under way, makeshift memorials are popping up around this town. cnn's don lemon is joining us from one of them.
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just a little bit down the road from where i am right now. don, these memorials really have a way of letting people express their emotions. this is a huge, huge tragedy. >> yeah, it is a huge tragedy. this one is the biggest one. this is the heart of the community here. there's a band that's here that's been coming by every day. they've been playing. a sign in front says "remember the children." members of the group as well. i want to talk to some of these folks. look at this big teddy bear. is this from your own or did you buy it? >> from my children, something that they've had. >> why did you come out? >> it's just hard to not think about what's going on here. we do live in connecticut about 20 minutes from here. a couple of my friends, myself, just wanted to take a ride.
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>> this has been in your family. obviously, it means a lot. you're going to leave it here. >> we are. >> thank you, eileen, we really appreciate it. you guys are from sandy hook, where you from? >> my parents live in sandy hook. >> we're originally from here in newtown. >> where do you live now? >> we live in oxford, connecticut. >> why are you here? >> we're here to give our support and our -- mostly our prayers to the families and the community. just here for the support for everybody. >> when you look at how big this memorial is, what do you think? >> it's amazing, you know, you forget about -- you have to remember there's so many good people in the world and this is a good reminder. it's amazing how much stuff there really is.
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>> has this help ed? >> yes, i'm glad i came down here, it's beautiful. >> are you going to put the wreath here? >> yes, i am going to put the wreath here. >> where are you from? >> we're from putnam, connecticut. >> does this help, to come out? >> yes, it does, because weem watched it all weekend and it's just so painful to see -- what happened to these angels and to these wonderful teachers, and this is our way of expressing how sorrowful we feel for all of them. >> you think this community will ever be the same? >> i think it will rebound. it's the state of connecticut and the state of connecticut is a great state in our union and i think the community will rebound and with all our prayers and everyone's prayers, yes. i also want to thank cnn for the wonderful job you done in this newscast. i watched you all weekend, all day today, and you have done an amazing compassionate job. thank you very much. >> well, thank you.
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>> -- for bringing this to the country. >> thank you, we really appreciate it. everyone here has been amazing and so welcoming so we want to be, you know, cognizant of that and respect you guys and not be intrusive. appreciate it. there's so much emotion going on over here. do you mind if we talk to you? >> no, that's fine. stay with me, lisa. my name is gloria. >> and you're here? >> i'm here because i have four grandchildren. and i was able to attend my son's -- he's in first grade, and he had his christmas concert tonight, and there pretty much wasn't a dry eye there. i met this wonderful woman here from alabama. so people are coming from all other. >> they are. thank you so much. our hearts are with you. thank you. we really appreciate it. wolf, not much to say. the emotion is palpable here. and this -- this memorial now which is the heart of the community is where people come and people are coming and they're sharing their feelings
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and we're here with them and we're giving them a voice we feel. >> so many people are grieving. so many people are mourning. and this unfortunately is going to stay for some time to come. some people will never, ever, ever be able to get over there. that's totally understandable. the tragedy is enormous. we're going to come back to you. want to get more of these stories. what people are saying who are coming to talk about what's going on. we'll take a quick break. much more right after this. i need you.
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in the wake of this enormous tragedy here in newtown, connecticut, people in communities all across the country are wondering what can be done. gun control advocates are wondering will this be enough to get congress to act. our senior congressional correspondent dana bash is joining us now from capitol hill. dana, what are you sensing their attitudes as far as guns are concerned, are attitudes shifting? >> those who don't want to do anything still to restrict gun rights they're being careful not to say anything until the rawness of this tragedy goes away or subsides a little.
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to answer your question, yes, attitudes are shifting in a remarkable way in favor of more gun control. >> read communication of the senate -- >> reporter: on the floor of the senate, a tribute to the victims of the unspeakable shooting spree. >> i now ask the united states senate observe a moment of silence for the victims of the sandy hook tragedy. >> reporter: and in an unusual move, the senate chaplain prayed for action. >> make our lawmakers willing to act promptly. >> reporter: it's a stark illustration of how mass murder of small children has changed the tone. especially among democrats. reluctant in recent years to talk about gun control. >> you know, that -- it's changed me. >> reporter: lawmakers of either party actively support and campaign on gun rights as much as virginia democrat joe manchin. >> i'll take dead aim. >> reporter: now, manchin, who has an "a" rating from the
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powerful rifle association, wants new gun restrictions. >> i don't know of anybody that goes hunting with an assault rifle. i don't know people that need 10, 20, 30-round clips. >> you're committed to change? >> i'm committed to bringing the dialogue that will bring a total change. >> reporter: manchin even called democrat dianne feinstein usually on the opposite side of the gun issue, looking to work together, right before we talked to her. >> he and i will sit down, we'll go over this legislation. >> reporter: that legislation would reinstate the assault weapons ban, which lapsed in 2004. why do you think this moment may be different? >> because i think it's a logical continuum. if there should be a safe place in america, it's an elementary school. here in this elementary school, look what happened. 6-year-olds with 3 to 11 bullets from this bushmaster in their body, 20 of them.
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is this america? i don't think so. >> reporter: to be sure, gun control legislation has stalled over the past decade largely because democrats concluded it was bad politics. especially for vulnerable democrats in conservative states. some half a dozen of those moderate senate democrats face voters in the next election, and none has embraced new gun restrictions yet. the nra, which traditionally has the power to hurt democrats in red straigates who support gun control, has been notably silent. after shooting spree in the movie theater in colorado, several lawmakers from red states told me they definitely feel the nra's clout still here on capitol hill, and just being, wolf, in senator feinstein's front office for five minutes, i could see the phones ringing off the hook about her call to revive or reinstate the assault weapons ban. at least make that the first piece of legislation in the new congress but it is very interesting it's not just the
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nra keeping mum right now, republican senators, most of them who we've talked to, are declining interview requests. they just don't want to talk about it quite yet. >> we'll see what happens down the road. dana, thank you. this unimaginable tragedy. adults are desperately struggling to comprehend, so how do you possibly begin to talk about this with your children? our own dr. sanjay gupta, he's getting some new information for us. he'll be joining us shortly. fr. ♪ ...could end with adding a close friend. the lexus december to remember sales event is on. this is the pursuit of perfection. [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do.
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>> we'll bring you some of their stories. lives were cut too short far too early. daniel barden played the drums in a family band. he lost his two front teeth in his fearless pursuit of life. anne marie murphy's mother says the special education teacher died doing what she loved, serving children and serving god. and jessica rekos loved everything about horses. she hoped to get one when she turned 10. she asked santa for cowgirl boots and a hat. >> she was a ball of fire. >> our little ceo we called her. she was the boss. >> children all across the country were back at school today with the tragedy here in connecticut. most likely not far from any parent's mind. our own lisa sylvester is staking a closer look at school
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security and whether enough is being done to keep our children safe. >> reporter: they say when you become a parent that a little bit of your heart lives outside of you. for many parents, this tragedy, is has hit their worst fear. how do you keep your kids safe when they are away from you? >> have a good day. >> you try not to think about it. >> reporter: this day, she has a hard time holding back the tears. >> it's heartbreaking. it's -- it's very difficult to imagine and i can't imagine being one of those parents. >> reporter: what happened in newtown connecticut could have happened in any town. it's one of those quiet fears parents have. page anderson of montgomery county, maryland, has a 6-year-old daughter. >> my daughter told me they did a drill last week so i think they do them on a regular basis. when you can't prepare for every eventuality. >> reporter: schools across the country are reviewing their school safety programs that have been in place since columbine. high schools in alexandria, virginia, have trained poli
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policpolice of officers on campus. middle schools require all visitors to be buzzed and signed in. for alexandria's school superintendent, this is deeply personal, as a father and grandfather. he visited a kindergarten and first grade class to offer any needed comfort and reassurance. >> it's really emotional. i didn't think it would be at first. just going into the classrooms, looking at those babies, looking at those wonderful children, looking at their faces, and realized there but for the grace of god or somebody else could be our kids here in alexandria. >> reporter: the shooting in newtown is opening u a new conversation. how much security at schools is enough. should there be armed guards at elementary schools, in preschools? metal detectors? school sipsychologists say ther has to be a balance. >> we know having metal detectors and security people outside the front of the school, not only would most parents not want to drop off their 6-year-old at school like that,
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that typically doesn't decrease violence and it can actually decrease the perceived sense of safety in that school. >> reporter: school spsychologit also say what kids need now is a greater sense of security. that when they get on that school bus, they will return home. and some of the things the school can do, the national association of school psychologists says if they don't already have one, schools should establish a crisis response team to deal with any emergency. they should also communicate with parents and explain what kind of steps are being done to keep children safe. they should review all safety policies and have adequate counselors on hand to deal with any of the emotional needs that children and the teachers might have. wolf. >> tell you, people are going to be studying how best to deal with security at schools a lot. they should. because this tragedy is enormous. lisa, thanks very much. >> thank you, lisa. the family of sandy hook elementary school principal we've heard so much about her,
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dawn hochsprung, says she went down in the blaze glory that truly represent who she was. she was beloved by her students and known for always having a smile on her face. cnn national correspondent gary tuchman had the chance to sit down with dawn's husband, children and stepchildren, for what was a very emotional, very moving interview. >> reporter: principal dawn hochsprung was quite a bit younger than her husband george. when they got married ten years ago, she with two daughters and he with three, dawn was marrying her boss. >> she was the assistant principal. i was the seventh grade math teacher. >> reporter: george made the decision the time had come to propose. >> she turned me down five times. >> reporter: what happened the
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sixth time? >> the sixth time, i waited until it wasn't so rushed. >> reporter: he popped the question on a sailboat they bought together. >> we got married. >> reporter: beth, amy and ann are george's first daughters from his first marriage. erica is dawn's daughter from her first marriage. her other daughter tina was out while we were at the house. they are a blended but very close family with 11 grandchildren. >>cy built this beautiful house in the adirondacks. the dream was it was going to be dawn's house because i was going to die, because i'm much older than dawn. dawn's grandchildren and all these children could use the house on the lake and it would be wonderful. we built rooms downstairs for kids. it was going to be dawn's house ultimately. with all the grandchildren. all the children. and now it's me. i don't think i can do that.
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>> reporter: i want to reiterate, your beautiful daughters, your son-in-laws, your beautiful grandchildren, everyone will be here to take care of you. >> my job is to take care of them. >> reporter: it's all right if someone takes care of you. >> no one has ever had to take care of me. >> reporter: in the middle of the day friday, this is how george found out what happened. >> well, one of the kids came up with a computer. and said, something's happening at sandy hook school and your wife's been killed. >> reporter: george raced out of school and into a nightmare. like all the families of victims, they want to know more. on this day, they have learned more. two teachers survived. told george they were having a meeting with dawn when the shots started ringing out. >> dawn put herself in jeopardy. i had been angry about that, angry, until just now, today, when i met two women that she
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told to go under shelter while she actually confronted the gunman and she could not -- she could have avoided that. but she didn't. i knew she wouldn't. so i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm just very sad. sad. somebody shot out the window. somebody came in, into the -- not into the office but into the building. dawn told us to go hide. and she and one other teacher ran out. and actually tried to subdue the killer. i don't know where that comes
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from. dawn was, what, 5'2". >> reporter: everyone here is so proud. no one more so than erica, who said her mom was always there for her daughters. >> either game, she was there. every game, every practice. my sister's cheer lead, she was there, every dance competition. she was doing homework on the bleachers, but she was there. and she was my rock. my rock. >> reporter: and now she is a hero too. the final thing i want to ask you is what would you say to your mom right now? >> come back. just come back. >> dawn hochsprung's biggest accomplishments as principal was overseeing the installation of a new security system requiring every visitor to ring the front doorbell after the school doors locked at 9:30 every morning. her husband, her family, they just seem, understandably, shell
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shocked. >> yeah. the shooter in this case fired his way in, through the glass, forced his entry. >> forced his way in and then headed for the first grade classrooms. >> a parent's grade five years later. a father of a victim in the virginia tech tragedy shares his lessons of surviving a tragedy.
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five years ago, families of virginia tech university students experienced a similar shock and sadness as those here in newtown, connecticut, are experiencing right now. some of them now are offering some help to the parents in connecticut. cnn's emily schmidt spoke with a father who lost his daughter in the shootings at virginia tech. >> reporter: one day after virginia tech became home to the deadliest school shooting in u.s. history, a father somehow found the words to describe the unthinkable. a daughter, not picking up her cell phone. >> i could only assume the worst because she was not responding, nobody knew who she was. >> reporter: he talked about his 18-year-old daughter, the star student, the teenager who thought dance could change the world. who was shot to death in french class. and that day he talked about her
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mainly in the present tense. >> i keep her in my mind. her face is in my mental vision. and it keeps me going. >> reporter: it's been what's kept him going for more than five years. what is it like talking about her today? >> oh, hasn't changed. she's in my heart. >> reporter: remembered in the family pictures, on the flag in the front yard. but she has been missed at so much. what would have been her graduation. her funeral. her memorials. her father says newtown made the missing worse all over again. >> the trauma is only skin deep. so every time something like this happened, you open the wound. but i will say that my therapy, is doing something about it. >> reporter: he said when virginia tech happened, there was no one to ask how do you get through. so he and other victim's
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families started the vtv family outreach foundation. advocates for campus safety. trained to offer victim's families support. >> they're going to be angry. they're going to be depressed. they're going to be shocked. posttraumatic stress is there for a long, long time. but they'll have questions. their experience might be particular to them. we may have some answers. but we are there to be at their service. that's what we were looking for in our tragedy at virginia tech. >> reporter: joseph somahaha says they will only help in newtown if asked to do so. his advice, victim's families should take care of themselves first and focus on issues like gun control, school safety and mental health later. emily schmidt, cnn, washington. >> certainly remember speaking with joseph.
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he made a deep impression on me interviewing him in the wake of that virginia tech university tragedy. our hearts go out to him as well as the family members of all of those killed in that tragedy. here in the newtown, connecticut, tragedy, all the victims of gun violence all across the country. we're sick and tired of covering these stories. we've covered way too many of them over these years. many people are wondering, how easy is it for someone to buy an automatic rifle like the one the shooter used here in newtown, connecticut, at the sandy hook elementary school. we're taking a closer look. much more coming up. a special edition of "the situation room" continues right after this. asty. and cut! very good. people are always asking me how we make these geico adverts. so we're taking you behind the scenes. this coffee cup, for example, is computer animated. it's not real. geico's customer satisfaction is quite real though.
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understandably, there's certainly been a lot of talk about the guns used in the new town, connecticut, massacre, particularly the semiautomatic assault-type rifle that was reportedly used in most of the killings. so how unusual is this weapon? how easy is it to get one here in the united states? our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence has been looking into these questions for us. chris, tell us what you can
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about this extremely deadly weapon. >> first of all, wolf, they're everywhere. i mean, you can literally buy this rifle at nearly 2,000 walmart stores all across the country. there are literally millions of these rifles in homes across america. and surprisingly enough, after what happened in connecticut, that number may be going up. not down. the ar-15 has always been a top seller at this virginia gun shop. but chuck says since friday's shooting, sales have been surging. >> people want to get them before the government imposes any restriction and they're buying them up in record numbers right now. >> reporter: we weren't in the store for five minutes before customers started calling for guns and ammo. >> those magazines are selling fast. in anticipation of the possible ban on magazines. >> reporter: he can't keep
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enough of the ar-15. >> we do have in stock, in the store, three other guns that are of the same quality as the bushmaster. >> reporter: how many rounds can this fire per second? >> how fast can you pull the trigger? >> reporter: the ar-15 is semiautomatic, meaning one bullet per trigger pull. an average clip carries 30 rounds. it's a variation of the military's m-16. it looks tough, ominous. police say adam lanza used an ar-15 in connecticut. it was also used to kill 12 people in a colorado movie theater this summer. who buys this weapon? >> everybody. >> reporter: guns and ammo magazine estimates 1.5 million have been made in the last five years alone. dealers say it's the most popular rifle in america. for good reason. how quickly could someone use this rifle -- >> to shoot it? very little training to shoot it. >> reporter: it weighs about
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eight pounds, takes all kinds of ammo and can be easily customized with various lasers, stocks and gun locks. the ar-15 is accurate and it has very little kick. >> there's literally no recoil from this because you're just shooting a high-power .22 round. one of the things that makes it very controllable. >> reporter: a lot has been talking about the heavy firepower of the ar-15, but really a lot of the shotguns and rifles that we saw on the wall there are much more powerful. the normal rounds that are chambered in this rifle are not much more or even less than a lot of handguns out there. but, again, it is extremely popular. there are magazines dedicated to this firearm, wolf, and that shows no signs of slowing down. >> chris lawrence, thanks very much for that report.
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and we're sad to report this just coming into the "situation room." senator daniel inuway of hawaii has passed away. a distinguished member of the united states senate. longest s the senate. distinguished record as a legislative leader. also was a world war ii combat veteran. he earned the nation's highest award for military valor and the medal of valor. served as chairman of the iran contra committee and a terrific guy to all of us who covered us over the years. they are joining us right now and very sad news. he was ill in recent weeks and in the hospital. still very, very sad that senator inouye has died. >> no question about it. you talked about some of the many, many points on his resume that made him so distinguished. one of them is that he is
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currently or was the longest serving senator here. he has been in the senate since 1963. in fact, he has represented the state of hawaii since it became a state in 1959. he also was currently serving as the president protem which made him 30 in line to the presidency. he was a constant presence around here. he has the position of the chairman of the powerful senate appropriations committee. as you said, he really distinguished himself as somebody who is a veteran of war and fought for veteran's rights and one of the few remaining people to serve and fought in world war ii. no question this is a big, big loss to the senate. every single senator here serving has served with senator inouye because he was the longest serving senator.
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>> chairman of the appropriat n appropriations committee and defense appropriations subcommittee. he really worked hard and will be missed. our deepest condolences to his family and he has passed away at the age of 88. thanks very much. among those most devastated by what happened here in connecticut and newtown connecticut in this tragedy are the emergency officials at that elementary school. we will tell you what they are now saying. hard to see opportuy in today's challenging environment. unless you have the right perspective. bny mellon wealth management has the vision and experience to look beyond the obvious. we'll uncover opportunities, find hidden risk, and make success a reality. bny mellon wealth management
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this was a very painful moment for a lot of us. we are walking over to the firehouse where the families were notified that their kids had been killed in newtown friday morning. this was sort of a command center. take a look over here and you can see what's going on. you can see the little christmas trees that have been set up and people are bringing teddy bears and toys and mementos. 20 of these christmas trees have been set up and i will walk over
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and take a look at what's going on. little candles. people are paying their respects to some wonderful kids who passed away unfortunate leeway too early. >> i don't know about you, but when i walk around and see those little memorials that have sprung up all over the place. >> every day there more people coming to give support and be part of the community even from outside. you went to that firehouse and you saw the memorials, i sat in on a sunday church service yesterday and the pastor there was at the firehouse to find out news of their children. one of their members lost a child, benjamin wheeler, in the shooting. she spoke so powerfully and so emotionally, but with such strength during her service.
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she said i'm done. go. >> this is hallowed ground. that's where everyone gathered. all the families down the street. they stayed there. another example i learned driving around in areas. this is a first responder here within 20 minutes and has a grandchild at sandy hook and his wife is a school bus driver for the school system. everyone is impacted. everyone. >> it's true. during his very, very powerful speech last night at this memorial, the president read the names of the dead one by one
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saying god has called them all home. we have taken his words out of the pictures he named. >> let the little children come to me, jesus said. do not hinder them. for to such belongs the kimdom of heaven. charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine, ana, dylan,
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madeleine, catherine, chase, jesse, james, grace, emilie, jack, noah, caroline, jessica, benjamin, avielle, allison.
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god has call them all home. for those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. . >> heartbroken families cling to one another. survivors say goodbye. the first young victims of the elementary school massacre are buried and the grief is overwhelming. >> it's everything you can imagine plus some. it's worse. >> i'm wolf blitzer in newtown,
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connecticut. the state's governor said there no words to describe the pain of parents burying their children let alone children killed in such a horrific act of violence. 6-year-olds jack pinto and noah posner are the first victims of the elementary school shooting to be laid to rest. there will be two dozen more burials just as gut wrenching as the ones here today. police are learning more about the gunman, adam lnza. they are following the latest on the investigation for us. what are you learning? >> we can tell you within the last half hour, four unmarked police cars with detectives pulled out of the lanza home. there have been lights on in the ground floor in the corner room. those lights off the shades drawn across the home in this particular area. we have passed a couple of homes that have squad cars in front of them. patrol cars in front of them.
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we believe those are homes that some of the victims had. lanza's home is a crime scene. they were able to recover pieces of a smashed computer. that computer now being analyzed by law enforcement folks who are able to retrieve a lot of data. they are looking at e-mails and want to know what websites he visit and who he may have come into contact with and why he may have chosen this school to carry out the massacre. the details are sketchy, but starting to come together. >> adam lanza moved into this house when he was about 6 years old, the same age as the first graders he is accused of killing. he did not go to sandy hook elementary, but a woman said her child and adam lanza had been classmates there in the first and third greats. police are searching for a connection as to why he chose to
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carry out the massacre there last week. little is known about adam lanza, but as a freshman in 2007, lanza seemed so vulnerable. the former school security director told cnn he warned his school officers to keep an eye on the child so he would not be picked on or bullied. lanza was assigned to school psychologists as the security director. though lanza joined the tech club, he remained with drawn. at age 16, lanz enrolled as a student at western connecticut state university about 15 minutes from his home, taking among other classes, german, computer science, american history and macro economics. he dropped out in 2009 and did not return. his high school friend ran into nancy lanza and he said the mom said he was doing really well in college. she told him she taken him shooting as a hobby and liked to
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go to the gun range. >> it's unclear whether she was continuing his education, but cnn learned his mother confided to a friend this was likely her last winter here in newtown, connecticut. she wanted to go somewhere where he could go to college. she was looking to go across country to washington state, possibly putting him in courses there. he is described as a genius, incredibly smart and some of his friends who talk about him say while he was very, very quiet and shy, once you got him to open up he seemed to joke. he enjoyed being in that company. extremely with drawn. investigators hope they can piece together the investigation on that computer. they described it as seizing very good evidence. what that evidence is, when connecticut state police are ready to release it, they will hold a press conference. wolf? >> thanks very much for that. schools here in newtown,
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connecticut will reopen except for the sandy hook elementary school and for good reason. >> for good reason, but they are looking for a temporary makeshift school. i spoke with officials about how they will make that happen. after the horror of friday, no one wants to send the children back to sandy hook and at the same time they are searching for a sense of normalcy for the children. that when it comes to school, that is when the north of monroe stepped in. desks to bulletin bores heading here to the neighboring town of monroe. >> book cases. >> that's the student materials and the backpacks they left. they walked into a classroom as close as possible as their classroom they left. >> steve is the town's chief executive and as soon as he
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heard about the horror he offered up chalk him middle school which is empty because it closed recently. they met with the teachers and students at sunday's vigil. >> most were very, very thankful they had a place to go back to work. the children and teachers who were -- it was emotional. >> all day contractors donated their time to transform this former middle school into an elementary school. >> just to give you a sense, the toilet all have to be replaced to a smaller size. things have to be made accessible. towel dispensers lowered. >> jim augustine is the superintendent. >> why is it so important to get the students into a building like chalk hill and back in the classroom? >> that's exactly the sense of normalcy that they need to begin the healing process and feel save and protect and get back
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into a routine. >> one change every parent will notice at schools across the area after sandy hook police patrol. >> sorry that a protective in issue and the new normal or is that more a way to help families and students alleviate anxiety as they return to class? >> all of the above. unfortunately it may be the new normal and the way we need to take action in the future. >> there is no official date for the students to start at chalk hill middle school. it will be an elementary school. officials say the building itself, all the upgrades and technology and everything that needs to be done as well as inspections and the fire marshall could be done as early as tomorrow which is amazing when you think of what a massive undertaking it is to pull this off. it will be up to newtown school officials. they want to bring the children back in.
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the governor signed an executive order to cut through the red tape to eliminate any hurdles they needed to jump over to make it happen so they could transfer over easily. >> i have been here since friday night and kate has been here since friday night as well. we have seen so much pain and also seen a lot of strength. >> where y should see holiday decorations, we are seeing memorials in honor of the massacre victims. you have been doing great work and traveling around town talking to folks. what are you hearing? >> this is the largest public memorial here in the heart of newtown. this started out with candles for the victims. you may hear music in the background. that say college group who drove up from florida and singing and
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playing music. you see everything from teddy bears to flowers and legos. you might see the white ornaments. this is from a couple -- their wedding gift from japan. they brought this and hung it here. just about everywhere you go, you are seeing these makeshift memorials. >> angels line one roadway in remembrance of each victim. along the highway, flags fly in their honor. there signs of support everywhere. this kwaquaint town symbolizes nightmare. for the local paper, before last friday the big recent headline was a vandalized cemetery. now thrust into a worldwide spotlight, the normally quiet main street is packed with media and outsiders. that's why kevin tried to do something away from the crowds in town.
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he hung a huge flag. >> my son served in afghan stwhan we came home. we had one of the flags. we have the means to fly it at certain occasions for my son. >> under this flag, a makeshift memorial grew. >> we came here around 11:00 and set the flag up for the people of newtown. people started dropping off teddy bears and gives and flowers for the families. donations for the funerals. we have been dropping the money off to the church. it keeps growing. >> at the nearby blue colony diner, black mourning ribbons are hung around. the diner is a spot where people are coming for comfort over food. >> it's a meeting place for grieving families and friends and relatives and even
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passerbies have been coming in and sharing and sorrow. >> the diner manager we spoke with said he has been getting calls from all over the country. people calling and saying they want to pay for meals for families of victims. he often just picks up the phone and there is crying on the other end of the line. we found a toy store, the only toy store and the owner said she has gotten calls from people around the country wanting to make donations. it's been really surprised by the out pouring and touched by the out pouring from people around the country. >> these emotions are so raw right now. thanks for that. sanjay gupta is joining us. you have been out and working on something very special that you are going to be sharing with our viewers later this hour. >> we tend to look at a lot of
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these previous tragedies in hindsight. the question a lot of people have, clues that people can do proactively or recognize that is tough as you might imagine. if you look throughout the history, what characterizes some of these people that have been involved with the tragedies. that's what we decided to focus on. these are specific things. >> you have some common threads? >> common threads. again there obviously no rule when is it comes to that sort of stuff. despite what they have been talking b these are few and far between when it comes to the numbers. a few people are experts and they talk about the fact that if people hardly ever snap. that's come up quite a bit. you have to know specifically where to look and the patterns. that's what we have been folk e using o. >> if there is more research, maybe they can prevent the tragedies. >> exactly.
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>> this is in the context that is under resourced and difficult to get people into. one thing ha is interesting and we will talk about is the idea of medications. when you give medications, there vulnerable times when you are starting and taking a patient off the medication. these are times when you can induce psychosis. loss of touch with reality. decreased judgment and impulsivity. people need to be monitored. this is not casting blame, but when we look at the monitors. >> why do you think when we look at the things in hindsight that is right and do you think -- where do you think the major issue is in terms of diagnosing mental illness and getting people in to the mental health system. we always talk about this after
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every tragedy. >> for always seems like we talk about this. one thing i have learned that may be surprising, people seem to think the signs were ignored. that's hardly ever the case actually. families do recognize the signs and loved ones and neighbors. and they anguish over it. the problem is the next step. the threshold for getting people in is usually if they have imminent harm to themselves or others. that's the threshold and like having a heard attack. that's too late as you know. you have to treat the people earlier. it's not so much the signs that are being recognized, but the system has failed. you heard the president say mental health. >> they decrease the stigma which is very important. >> the full report later this
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hour. emergency officials here in newtown are paying tribute to the victims of the school massacre. children desperately hope to save and they couldn't. we will hear from a firefighter. >> also will president obama live up to his promise to the people of new and the nation to try to prevent future shooting tragedies.
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as the first young victims are buried here in connecticut, the cries are growing louder for new federal gun control measures. some believe it could be a turning point in the gun debate in america if the president of
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the united states follows through on his call to action. let's go to the white house. brianna keilar has the latest. >> i'm not sure if you noticed, but president obama has not even uttered the word gun since the shooting on friday. gun rights advocates have stayed out of this debate, but gun control advocates have not. the president is missing an opportunity to outline specific gun control measures because they say public interest in this is high on an issue that has not been a priority for president obama or congress in recent years. president obama promised sunday in newtown to take action. >> in the coming weeks i will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.
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>> here gave no specifics. dianne feinstein wants to ban semi automatic weapons. >> he is going to have a bill to lead on because as a first day bill, i will introduce in the senate and the same bill will be introduced in the house, a bill to ban assault weapons. >> far from fake taking the let, they won't see if the white house will support the bill. jay karn carney did not support measure. that irks a number of democrats cho who support gun control including congresswoman carolyn carthy whose husband died and son was injuried on a long island train in 1993. >> when the white house, carney came out and said this was not a time to talk about gun violence and legislation. i called the white house and it was like what are you talking
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about? we should have been talking about this years ago. >> mccarthy and others including new york mayor michael bloomberg said now is the time to act while the american public is paying attention to this tragedy. after past shootings, congress's appetite to act on gun violence waned quickly. >> innocent it more likely that people prere treat to their corners which you don't want to see further out from the event. >> it is hard to think about 20 6 and 7-year-olds and what happened to them on friday and imagine in a few weeks or a few months that pain would not still be incredibly intense and present. >> polls show that americans's attitudes towards restrictions on guns haven't waivered with
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other shootings. arizona, colorado and wisconsin. a new poll out in "washington post" poll shows that the public is spending to this shooting in connecticut differently. 44% of those poled strongly support stricter gun well laws up from 39% in august and 5% fewer are strongly opposed. the question is will that be enough and will it last and will it give fuel to gun control advocates. >> brianna, thanks very much. listening to the president and watching him get emotional, i think he is going to try. i don't know if he will succeed, but i know he will try in this second term to do something about gun control. >> he left the impression that was his goal and one of his focuses. >> a lot of other stuff. he's going to try. >> this is quickly becoming a priority. >> still ahead, people from across the nation are sending gifts for the makeshift memorials. so many memorials continue to
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pop up. cnn's brooke baldwin caught up with a responder delivering christmas wreaths from oregon and has quite a story to tell. i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text.
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>> per we want to continue honoring the victims of this tragedy. josephine gay liked riding a bike and selling lemonade. her favorite color was purple. catherine hubbard is remembered for bright red hair, constant smile and love of sports and compassion for animals. charlotte bacon was sweet, outgoing with a mass of beautiful red curls. she loved school and loved dresses. so adorable and so sad. nor glimpses of youngsters with so much promise gunned down and gone forever. >> everyone here is devastated.
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everyone including the emergency officials and they were the first to arrive on the scene. brooke baldwin is back with us and you came back from a moving conversation. >> we just talked to two volunteer firefighters with the newtown hook and ladder and they were talking to us about firefighters. they tried to use humor to diffuse the situations. they were talking about the truckfuls of teddy bears from people across the country that they have been able to distribute to the kids to put smiles on faces in a trying time. i ran across another firefighter today in the midst of many reeves. i saw them unpacking wreath after wreath. he said someone in portland, oregon. take a look. >> how many are there? >> they were sent to the firehouse through u.p.s. >> did you know they were coming? >> no. they were -- the truck pulled up
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and she said i am delivering 26 wreaths and we figured we would come up with a place to put them. trying to keep them together. shipped from oregon. >> how long have you been here? >> since friday. >> where are you based out of? >> sandy hook. >> how long have you been here. >> we are going home to sleep. >> since high school. i'm 38. >> did you ever in a million years think you would be experiencing this in your little town? >> nobody thought that. >> where were you when you heard? >> working. i work across town. we saw the helicopters. >> when you saw the helicopters, what did you think was it was? >> not on the scale it was. one or two. we heard it was the principal and as time went on we got the reports and didn't believe it. we came down the road and it was
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all surreal. seeing all the cars and all this. it's tough. >> where did you go once you saw the car? >> straight to the firehouse and from there we just haven't left. >> help us around the world understand what you as a first responder are going through. >> sadness. anger. guilt in some aspects. >> why guilt? what could you have done? >> exactly. we were having counseling so as a group. >> what do you make of the wreaths? just people you don't know sending you all these wreaths to put up in your town. what would you say to the people in portland, oregon?
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>> thank you. it makes us feel warm to know this is amazing that people that far away care about us. . >> in this conversation i had with the two other firefighters, just this last hour, i said what will newtown look like in a month. once we are gone and the quiet returns, he said scarred. he said we will never be the same. that town you have to explain that is just near danbury sort of near hardford. you say newtown and people know exactly where it is. they'll move on, but it's the images of the parents at the firehouse and some of them retrieving their kids and the parents left without the children. i saw tears in eyes and that's the image that they will never forget. >> you noticed it while we talked about it, thing i know i will take away when we go and when we leave is the sense of community of how people have
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just come together. one person said i know we will be remembered as newtown where this massacre happened, but i also want to be remembered as a town where the community fought back. fought to be remembered for something other than this tragedy. >> not just beam within the town, but around connecticut. governor malloy broke down into tears and reaching out to the town. >> a lot of strength though. >> you are getting emotional. >> we all are. >> understandably so. good report. thank you. >> there have been many breakthroughs in medical science. what have we learned about what goes on inside the minds of serial killers? sanjay gupta who is a neurosurgeon has a new report. you want to see this. we'll be right back. hey, look! a shooting star! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership.
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>> connecticut's governor calling for a moment of silence this friday morning exact low one week after the unthinkable happened in the community of newtown, connecticut. 26 bells will toll, for each person killed at the sandy hook elementary school. dan malloy getting very emotional talking about telling parents their children were dead. >> it was evident to me that there was a reluctance to tell parents and loved ones that the person they were waiting for was not going to return. that had gone on for a period of
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time, well after there was any expectancy that families would be reunited. >> the wounds are still so fresh. two of the slain children, 6 years old, noah posner and jack pinto are the first to be laid to rest. as the investigation moves forward, an official told cnn the computers in the home of the gunman had been mashed and authorities gathered the parts hoping to find in clues. >> anderson cooper is helping us cover this horrendous story. huh a chance to speak with parents of one of the victims? >> lynn and chris mcdonnell reached out after watching the broadcast and wanted to talk about their daughter, grace, one of the children killed. 16 kids in her class and 15
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survived. grace did not. they are incredibly strong and they have a son named jack who is 12. we did not interview him. they wanted people to know about grace. we will be playing a lot of that tonight on 360 and that's how we will lead off the broadcast. they want people to remember her as they remember her. how she lived her life. theling that lynn and chris talked to me about is how they don't want their son hating anybody involved in this shooting. how it's okay to be angry, but they don't want him to feel hate. i talked to lynn about that earlier. >> i had said that to jack that it's okay to be angry because sure, we have anger and we are upset and we don't know why, but i told jack that he could never live with hate.
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grace didn't have an ounce of hate in her. we have to live through grace and realize that hate is not how our family is. certainly not how grace is. i know all those beautiful little children didn't have any hate in them either. we will take the lead from them from and will not go down that road, but we will let them guide us. >> they weren't able to see grace. they were warned not to see her, but they went to the funeral home and told us the casket was white. they brought magic markers and she and her husband and son jack used those magic markers and jack said they graffitied the casket, but painted all the things that grace loved. they left that funeral home yesterday and said there wasn't any white left on the casket. everything was colored in the
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way grace would have wanted it. >> i heard other tragedies i covered as you have, the parents want the world to know about their child who was needlessly killed. >> how they know their child. >> i want to emphasize we are being very respectful. i am not knocking on doors. they contacted us. they want people to understand what they have lost. what the world has lost. this bright little girl who had her future ahead of her and they met with president obama just yesterday and gave him a drawing that grace had done of an owl and they have me a copy of it as well and president obama said he would cherish it and put it up in the white house and in my office or home. they are an incredible family and the strength is something that will inspire a lot of people. >> when you watch that, i can't wait to see the rest of it. i'm amaze at their strength.
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they have lost their daughter just days ago. >> it's extraordinary how strong they are. they are very frank. there ups and downs and it comes like a wave at times. there tough moments and moments where they take comfort and strength in their little girl and the memories they have of her. lynn looks at pictures of grace, they have pictures around the house. they are a beautiful family andy we are going to really honor grace tonight. >> 8:00 p.m. eastern we will be watching. thanks very, very much. as the first of what will be many funeral services get under way here, makeshift memorials are popping up all over newtown. joining us from one of them. a short distance from where we are right now. heart felt gestures have a way of bringing home the magnitude of this tragedy. don't they? >> absolutely.
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you can see the mission band playing. -it is called the national association for the prevention of starvation. they were on a mission and i want to talk to the folks who are here. this is roary and rich out here and where are you guys from? >> tumble. >> why did you guys come out? >> i needed to show respect for the families of this tragedy. that's the main reason why i came? >> i needed to come out for myself too. it's tough. i really wanted to help myself. >> why will it help you? >> i don't know. just get the emotion out. it's hard to get out. help seeing this and all the warmth and love here is very nice. people from all over the country are here. i think that's outstanding. >> linda, you have been out here for a while. so many people have come up and we can barely get inside.
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the memorial is moving closer to the street. >> yes and i am from monroe. i am very close to here. i felt like i wanted to come because i work with victims of domestic violence. with children who are victims of domestic violence. they are the most innocent -- they are so innocent and we have an obligation to protect them. that's why i'm here. >> thank you very much. >> i don't know if you guys can hear it, but the people are singing on the other side here. people come over and sing and pray and hug. they just love each other and as you hear, these guys are saying it is awesome. it is awesome to see this and it's awesome to see that at least there is hope in the community that things will one day get become to normalcy. that won't be any time soon. >> no. it's going to be a while. don, thanks very much.
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these reports he is bringing us from the makeshift memorials that are so powerful, you and i walked around and we have seen people come over to us. >> everyone is healing together. >> we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] with a select terrain dial that adjusts the jeep grand cherokee's performance for specific weather and road conditions... ♪ ...even heavy snowstorms... won't keep you from getting to work. our apologies. ♪
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dr. sanjay gupta is back with us. you have been dog a lot of research. you have been doing a lot more over the past few days. how quickly will these kids feel safe enough to go back to school, the 600 kids at that elementary school attacked friday morning? >> there is no hard and fast rules. any expert will say that. i have been talking to a lot of people and seeing consistencies and earlier the better seems to be a mantra that i keep saying. the kids are going to feel different levels of safety in part in terms of how much they were exposed to the violence and what they saw. the earlier the better,s soon as you can establish the normalcy seems to make a difference. you can accelerate the feelings of safety. every child will be different,
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but it seems to be something. >> that's one of the questions raised on how they are transitioning into the temporary school. some were asking if they were only back for a day before they go on holiday break, why would you do that? >> that's the point. you really don't want to waste any time. you can draw trajectories between the establishing of normalcy and long-term out come. the quicker you establish that normalcy the better in terms of long-term out come. a quick frame of reference, columbine happened in april so near the end of the school year. they kept the school close and didn't open until after the summer brick in august. that was a decision made in colorado at that time. every community will handle it differently. those are older kids, but the sooner the better. >> the parents will feel anxious as well. they say dr. gupta, what should we do. >> young kids and different than
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other situations. this is the situation in some ways, check your feelings first. you will feel anxious and the key they keep hearing is not to incumber a child that you try to provide support with with your feelings. it's tough and probably easier said than done, but making sure you listen and you fill in details as appropriate. let them do talking. instead of saying i will tell you everything that happened, don't do that. find out what they know. they will probably know things thaw don't realize they know. >> some parents will say to a doctor, i think i need medication. what do they do? >> sometimes it's necessary. we have talked enough about this that i'm not someone who advocates that regularly, but sleep is such a key. parra are if you can't sleep if you are so nervous, you give them ambien or medication to help them sleep. >> anti-anxiety medication or
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sleeping medication and sometimes that is necessary for the adults. sometimes for kids as well. if you can get these children good sleep especially in the early nights, it's very, very important. medication hopefully is not necessary because these are powerful meds especially for the young children. you have to make sure you address that. >> sanjay, thanks very, very much and thanks for everything you have been telling our viewers as well. the man who knew the lanza family said nancy lanza picked up the gun hobby recently. he is standing by to join us next.
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erin burnett is here with me in connecticut as well. you had a chance to speak today with folks who actually knew the shooter's mother? >> yes, a restaurant called "my place" which you may have seen driving around in one of the malls. it's sort of a local joint. she went there two to three times a week to get take-out, sometimes to get a beer, and she got to know the family who owns it. the family said she was generous, how funny she was.
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she was the person who at a bar who would be telling a story about something was wrong in their life and she would say, here's some money. i asked if she ever talked about her gun lhobby. they said, yes, she had. >> one of the things we heard is she was passionate about guns, she collected gunned. is that something you knew about or were surprised when you heard? >> i would say in the last three or so years she picked up the hobby. she really enjoyed it. she probably had some guns she used to take to the range and practice with. i don't know what she owned or what she had. we don't know if she took her son, didn't take her son. she didn't talk about it that much. i took it up, it's fun. that kind of thing. >> given you knew her as a person, is she the kind of person to have guns around the house, would they have been locked up? >> they would have been locked up. >> far too bright for that. very smart.
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>> the question about the guns, wolf, why she had them, why she would take her son to a shooting range, those are questions we don't have skwrs to, but we're starting to get more color on who she was and why she liked what she liked? >> we'll have more at the top of the hour as well. >> we'll be talking with other neighbors. one woman whose 11-year-old daught daughter, her friend lost her two siblings. >> it's a hard story to cover. how are you doing? >> it's hard. you see the hole and then you see the people who live here and the hole they have as the international media takes a base in the town. it's hard to do our job. >> people come up to us and want to tell their stories. you have seen that as well. we'll see you in a minute. >> 12 girls, 8 boys, 6 women. the numbers only begin to tell the story. in just a minute, the names, faces, details of lives
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tragically cut short at the sandy hook elementary school. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit today. ♪ but the fire is so delightful ♪ nothing melts away the cold like a hot, delicious bowl of chicken noodle soup from campbell's. ♪ let it snow, let it snow
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that's it for me tonight. i'm wolf blitzer. "erin burnett outfront" starts in just a minute, but we leave you right now with this trib ut to the victims. >> let the little children come to me, jesus said, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. charlot charlotte, daniel. olivia.
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>> she was outgoing, she was a beautiful, outgoing child. >> tennis lessons and her ballet and hip-hop dance and musical theater. she had a huge sense of humor. this was not a shy child. >> josephine. ana. ♪ dylan. mad mad madeleine. >> catherine. chase. jesse.
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james. grace. emilie. >> her love and the strength she gave us and the example she showed us is remarkable. she is an incredible person, and i'm so blessed to be her dad. >> jack. noah. >> noah was extremely lively. he was really the light of the room. you know, he had a huge heart and he was so much fun. a little bit ram bunchtuous. lots of spirit.
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>> caroline. jessica. >> she was a ball of fire. she ruled the roost. >> our little ceo, we called her. she was the boss. >> benjamin. avielle. allison. god has called them all home. for those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. >> "outfront" next, honoring the heroes of the newtown school shooting and remembering loved ones taken too early. and we have the


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